NEWSFLASH: APM to sell half stake in Elizabeth, N.J. terminal
APM Terminals said Thursday that it will form a 50-50 joint venture with Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management to operate its terminal in Port Elizabeth, N.J.
APM Terminals said it hopes to receive regulatory approval by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and others "in the next couple of months."
The deal comes on the heels of Brookfield's purchase of a 49-percent interest in MOL's TraPac terminals in Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif. Brookfield also has port investments in Europe, China and Australia.
APM Terminals said its current management team in Elizabeth, which includes Managing Director Brian Clark, will continue to perform their roles on behalf of the joint venture.
The APM terminal is located on land leased from the Port Authority and is situated in its Port Newark-Port Elizabeth complex, which is historically significant since the very first containership, the Ideal X of Malcom McLean's Pan-Atlantic Steamship Co., was loaded in Port Newark in 1956. McLean's company became Sea-Land Service, which was acquired by the A.P. Moller Maersk Group and folded into Maersk Line, a sister company to APM Terminals.
Kim Fejfer, chief executive officer of APM Terminals, said, "We are entering into this partnership to strengthen our presence in the Port of New York/New Jersey. Brookfield is a leading real estate investor in this market and has a substantial presence in the port, with its recent Port Authority partnership at the World Trade Center West Concourse. Brookfield is also a leading global infrastructure investor, with significant infrastructure holdings in a number of countries in Latin America and Europe, where we operate terminals and inland facilities.”
The acquisition comes at a time of major discontent by shippers and draymen, who are unhappy with congestion in the port.
On Wednesday, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a trade association of major retailers, wrote to the authority to say ongoing productivity issues at the port "have had damaging consequences on the delivery of retailers’ goods. ... Retailers are concerned that further disruptions will take place, resulting in lost sales, empty shelves and disappointed customers.”
Kelly Kolb, RILA's vice president of government affairs wrote, “The backlog has become untenable, and retailers cannot afford to wait for improvements. Failure to move quickly to address the issue now will only see it compounded in the future. All involved parties must work together to provide immediate and direct relief.”
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